Janus Films debuted the official trailer for Tótem, the drama film selected as Mexico’s Official Entry for Best International Feature at the 96th Academy Awards.
Starring in the film are Naíma Sentíes, Montserrat Marañón, Marisol Gasé, Saori Gurza, Teresita Sánchez, Mateo García Elizondo, Juan Francisco Maldonado, Lazua Larios, and Alberto Amador.
Naíma Sentíes stars as seven-year-old Sol, who is spending the day at her grandfather’s home, for a surprise party for her father, Tonatiuh. As daylight fades, Sol comes to understand that her world is about to change dramatically
Directed by Lila Avilés, Tótem world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival and opens in theaters with a release date of January 26, 2024.
In a bustling Mexican household, seven-year-old Sol is swept up in a whirlwind of preparations for the birthday party for her father, Tona, led by her mother, aunts and other relatives. As the day goes on, building to an event both anticipated and dreaded, Sol begins to understand the gravity of the celebration this year and watches as her family does the same. This poignant and emotionally expansive film from Lila Avilés (The Chambermaid) cements her skill at directing dynamic, ensemble performances in her stunning sophomore effort. Opens in select cities 2024.
Called ‘a dazzling, vibrant child’s-eye view of jubilation and tragedy’ BFI Sight & Sound review said, “Sol only cries that once; viewers might not be capable of such restraint. And yet the film is nothing so manipulative as a tearjerker, with Avilés’s exceptional direction keeping sentimentality at bay while still, almost magically, sampling the different flavours of grief that run like currents and crosscurrents between the members of this close-knit, bickering family. Much of this comes from the singular shooting style, with Diego Tenorio’s warm, dynamic camera set deep within the hubbub, but pulling from it dozens of painterly close-ups that have the depth of portraiture. It’s an extraordinarily effective way of communicating Tótem’s unusual take on a family drama in which every character is in close proximity but is also a discrete world – one that will go on turning even after another stops. Perhaps this is the moment that Sol grows up, when she realises, as we all must, that however strong your bonds of affection, there are some ways we will always be alone: everyone’s battered hearts beat and break at different speeds.”
Watch the official trailer for Tótem.